Friday, November 25, 2011

Neighbors and Friends at The Queens Kickshaw

Jen and Ben holding down the fort.
The Queens Kickshaw is a neighborhood coffee shop in Astoria, Queens. It's a small business that I have been following over the past year and one that has quickly become one of my favorites to support. The owners Ben and Jen are adorable, sweet, kind, and friendly. Every time my friends and I stop by for a drink and bite, they come over for some conversation. It is this kind of hospitality that keeps customers coming back. They're genuine and the relaxing atmosphere designed by Ecosystems Brand is just as inviting.

One pitfall of small businesses is growing too fast too soon. It's dangerous to grow a business you can't support with the manpower you have or the limited resources available. The Queens Kickshaw is taking it slow and easy. In the beginning they had a simple coffee menu, grilled cheeses, and limited hours.

The owners keep their full time jobs and pitch in hours when they can. When you own your own business, you breathe life into it even if it means being on your feet all day, using extra brain power, pouring in your life savings, and working 80 hours plus every week. You do what you can to keep it alive.

The Queens Kickshaw is now open in the evenings until 1 AM. They take pride in the craft beers and wine they now serve and are experimenting with adding new vegetarian friendly items to the menu. I tried the three cheese macaroni and cheese last night. It was a dreamy concoction of pasta with smoked mozzarella, gruyere, and cheddar. Also on the menu is chestnut stuffing. I'm really excited about that. It's the same variation my grandma used to cook during Thanksgiving. Most of all, I like that The Queens Kickshaw added in the element of live music on Friday nights. The acts are locals showcasing their own style of folk, acoustic guitar, klezmer, blues, and all sorts. Last night I grooved while dj Ab*Soul* played some soulful R&B. It was a nice way to relax and end our Thanksgiving festivities. Yes, The Queens Kickshaw was open during Thanksgiving. For that, I thank them. In a city where so many are transplants and family is so far away, New Yorkers are rich with alternatives to the traditional.  Dinner in Flushing Chinatown followed by late night snacks, dessert, drink, and music at The Queens Kickshaw. Yup, sounds just like the New York life I never imagined I'd be living. And perfect at the same time.

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 26 is the second annual Small Business Saturday. It was a day created by American Express to support small businesses. Stop by The Queens Kickshaw. It's like a home away from home. They serve killer coffee to get you going, amazing grilled cheeses, and Balthazar sticky buns. Save yourself the trip to SoHo and stick to Queens.

Owner Jen Lim and Barista Alisha
Gouda w/black bean hummus, guava jam, pickled jalapenos
Inside shot of Gouda sandwich
Green Salad w/pickled golden raisins
Balthazar Sticky Bun
Cold Brewed Iced Coffee
My favorite way to enjoy The Queens Kickshaw:
1. Go with 3 other friends
2. Order 4 grilled cheeses
3. Make a Franken-cheese sandwich!
Pictured: (clockwise from top) Gouda, Fontina Val d'Aosta, Gruyere, Manchego & Ricotta

The Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11103    

Small Business Saturday


  1. i came here for brunch once. Jen is definitely a sweetie~

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I just bookmarked yours!